Quins targeting top six
Watch the Super League season live on Sky Sports from Saturday
By Phil Jackson. Last Updated: 30/01/08 12:45pm
McCarthy-Scarsbrook: Big season
Harlequins starlet Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook has spoken exclusively to skysports.com about his expectations for the new season.
"Paul Sykes is going to be a big loss but we've signed a good player in David Howell and he'll come in and be a big player."
Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook Quotes of the week
The 22-year-old prop came of age at the Twickenham Stoop in 2007, helping the Londoners finish ninth in the end of season standings.
Quins slumped to a comprehensive 28-6 defeat to National League One side Celtic Crusaders in pre-season on Sunday though.
But with the daunting prospect of Wigan Warriors heading to the capital for the season opener on February 9, McCarthy-Scarsbrook remains convinced Quins will be ready.
"We got beat quite convincingly," he told skysports.com. "We didn't play to our full potential in that game it's a tough place to go. They moved the ball around well and they deserved the win.
"But we're focused on Wigan. The top six is a realistic goal this season. The play-offs are definitely the way forwards for us.
"Paul Sykes is going to be a big loss but we've signed a good player in David Howell and he'll come in and be a big player.
"Personally, my hopes are to stay fit and have a good season and just play well."
The London-born forward also acclaimed the development of the game in the capital, as the club fights for recognition in the education system, which has traditionally been dominated by rugby union.
"The game in London is becoming bigger and bigger," he added. "Four hundred and twenty schools are taking it on in their PE. Places like Croydon, Brixton and Hounslow for example.
"There should be a couple of good youngsters coming from there and joining our academy.
"Hopefully in five or 10 years time we'll have a team full of Londoners."
The new season kicks off on Saturday so stay tuned to skysports.com and check out the official Super League website for all the latest.